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We know transporting your cat to the vet is a significant source of stress. Did you know that stress related to transporting your cat also affects her stress and fear levels during her appointment?
Follow the tips below to make this trip to the vet the best possible for you and your kitty.
Plan ahead. It is essential to acclimate your cat to her carrier before the day of your vet visit. Leave the carrier open in an accessible spot. Leave a small towel or favorite bed inside to make it cozy. Periodically, toss in a couple treats or a favorite toy. Consider feeding kitty in the carrier as well. If she goes in willingly, periodically latch the door, gently lift the carrier for a moment; then give kitty a treat and open the door.
On the subject of carriers…
For most cats a hard sided carrier with a door at the front and top works best. It’s best if the top and bottom pieces can be easily detached. The carrier should be large enough for your cat to comfortably stand.
If your carrier is dirty, clean it out with soap and water but don’t use any strong smelling chemicals.
For bonus points, wipe down the carrier with a Feliway wipe 15 minutes prior to loading up kitty for your trip. Feliway will help your cat feel less anxious during travel and at the vet.*
If you’ve done your homework, it shouldn’t be too hard to get kitty in her carrier. If your carrier opens on top, take advantage of that larger door. If you haven’t had time to fully acclimate kitty to her carrier, confining her to a small room without any hiding spots before trying to load her can make things easier.
Once in the car, don’t forget to secure the carrier so that it does not slide around.
Once you arrive, cover the carrier with a towel and turn the door away from any other animals while waiting for your appointment. If secure, place the carrier on a chair or low table as well (as opposed to resting on the ground).
If your cat is particularly challenging to load into the carrier or tends to be very fearful or anxious at vet appointments, speak with your veterinarian about oral medications that can be given at home prior to your visit to minimize your cat’s stress (and yours).
We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!
* Feliway wipes can be purchased many places including Amazon and Chewy. They should be used only on the carrier and never directly on your cat. Allow the product to dry for at least 10-15 minutes prior to loading your cat in the carrier.